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NETHERLANDS: Koendeers Visiting Burkina Faso

Development minister Bert Koenders is visiting Burkina Faso between 15 and 17 October

Mr Koenders will talk with President Blaise Compaoré, Prime Minister Tertius Zongo and health minister Seydou Bouda. Their topics of discussion will include the crisis in Guinea-Conakry.

In addition, Mr Koenders will meet members of various organisations to discuss the development of health care and measures against female genital mutilation.

Accompanying Mr Koenders to Burkina Faso will be Radio 3FM DJ Eric Corton and Director of the Dutch Red Cross Cees Breederveld. On Friday, they will invite him to visit Red Cross malaria projects in Diébougou.

The proceeds of the Radio 3FM Serious Request this year will go to reducing malaria. On Saturday, Mr Koenders will invite Mr Corton and Mr Breederveld to visit a regional hospital and a number of civil society organisations in Gaoua.

In Mr Koenders’ view, the joint journey emphasises how modern development assistance involves effective cooperation between government, business, civil society, and individuals.

The Netherlands is working on several fronts to combat malaria, which claims almost one million lives every year. Every 30 seconden, malaria kills someone, usually someone younger than five years old.

Burkina Faso, the sixth poorest country in the world, has made progress in recent years. It is one of the most stable countries in West Africa, but the progress is being undermined by high population growth.

Burkina Faso has also been hit hard by the impact of high food and energy prices, the financial crisis, and climate change, which causes both flooding and drought.

The Netherlands gives Burkina Faso some 48 million euros a year to help it achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals. The money is targeted for specific purposes: education, health care, good governance, the position of girls and women, and a study of the effectiveness of development cooperation.

SOURCE: ISRIA

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DATE: 16/10/2009

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